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The Weird Week in Review

Gumby Fails at Robbery

Police in San Diego are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a suspect who tried to rob a convenience store in a Gumby costume. He walked in on Monday and demanded money, but the clerk did not take him seriously and told the character not to waste his time. The man left, and the clerk did not immediately report the robbery attempt. The store manager reported the incident after seeing the security video. The clerk, who was not familiar with Gumby, described the perpetrator as "a green SpongeBob SquarePants."

Bear Drives Off, Wrecks Prius

Brian and Cece McCarthy of Pleasanton, California, were vacationing with their son Dylan at Lake Tahoe when their car was stolen. They woke to suspicious sounds in the night, and saw from the window of their cabin that there was a bear in the car!

After the black bear climbed completely inside the car it apparently couldn’t get out. In its struggle, the bear hit the gear shift and the car rolled away for a wild, albeit short, ride down the McCarthy’s driveway, over several boulders, only stopping when it slammed into a neighbor’s front porch.

“All of the sudden we look out the window again and the car is gone, the bear is down the driveway – we have this steep driveway coming out of our cabin – he’s down the driveway across the street,” said Cece McCarthy.

The car was ripped open on impact, and the bear escaped. The Prius was a total loss, and a sheriff's deputy wrote the incident down as "a bear burglary."

20-foot Crocodile Captured in The Philippines

Around 100 villagers in the Philippines worked together Sunday to bind and retrieve a monstrous 6 meter long crocodile that has been terrorizing the community for months. The croc weighed 2,370 pounds (1,075 kilograms) and estimated to be at least 50 years old. Villagers have been hunting the crocodile since a fisherman went missing in July. People also saw a croc eating a water buffalo last month. However, Wildlife official Ronnie Sumiller says there still may be an even larger crocodile in the area, based on eyewitness reports. The captured reptile is an endangered species, and will be relocated to an ecotourism park.

Jail Time for Overdue Library Materials

Christopher Anspach of Newton, Iowa, was sentenced to serve ten days in jail after he pleaded guilty to not returning books and other media to the Newton Public Library. He checked out the items earlier this year and failed to respond when library staff tried to contact him several times. They then turned to matter over to police. Anspach pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges over 27 library items valued at $770.67. In addition to the jail sentence and a fine, he is to pay restitution for the books and other materials. There is no word on what happened to the library materials.

Man Calls Police Over Bad Haircut

A man in Drammen, Norway called local police to report that he had been the victim of a bad haircut. The call came from the hair salon, because the man said he could not go outside without a cap -and didn't have a cap. The salon owner said it was too late to do anything about the haircut. The police told the man they would not respond to the call. Unfortunately, no photograph accompanies this story.

Good Samaritans Change Tire, Steal Car

Charlotte Baker had a flat tire and pulled off to the side of the road between Byfield and Boddington in England. While the 28-year-old Baker, who is nine months pregnant, called her boyfriend for help, two men in a white van stopped and began to change the tire on her Porsche 911. Once they were finished with the tire, one man jumped in the driver's seat and took off, while the other fled in the van!

Miss Baker said: “The shock is starting to fade but now I am just reeling. It’s absolutely disgusting, these men have no morals.

“They couldn’t have cared less about leaving me stranded on a quiet road, even when it was obvious I’m just weeks away from giving birth.

Baker was eventually picked up by an elderly man who gave her a lift.

Angry Birds Theme Park Opens In China

An unauthorized theme park based on the mobile game Angry Birds has opened at Window of the World Park in Changsha, China. The attraction is part of a stress-reduction festival that opened on September first. Participants can use a real giant slingshot to knock pigs off a structure, as seen in a video clip. Rovio, the company that produces the game, has filed an intellectual property suit against the Chinese park. Rovio may license the rights to an Angry Birds themed park in the future, but no deal was made with the people who opened the Chinese attraction.

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Weird
The Origins of 25 Monsters, Ghosts, and Spooky Things
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Though dressing up as an angel is acceptable, it’s ghouls and goblins that truly capture our imaginations during the Halloween season. As lit jack-o’-lanterns beckon and monsters lurk in the shadows, we explore the origins of 25 frightful things that go bump—or boo—in the night.

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Food
Thanks to a Wet Winter, New Zealand Faces a Potential Potato Chip Shortage
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New Zealand has plenty of unique and tasty snacks, but kiwis also love potato chips. The universal comfort food is in danger Down Under, however, as an unusually wet winter has devastated the island country’s tuber crops, according to BBC News.

Twenty percent of New Zealand’s annual potato crop was wiped out from a series of major storms and floods that ravaged the nation’s North and South Islands, The Guardian reports. In some regions, up to 30 percent of potato crops were affected, with the varieties used to make chips bearing the brunt of the damage.

Potato prices spiked as farmers struggled, but the crisis—now dubbed “chipocalypse” by media outlets—didn't really make the mainstream news until supermarket chain Pak’nSave posted announcements in potato chip aisles that warned customers of a salty snack shortage until the New Year.

Pak’nSave has since rescinded this explanation, claiming instead that they made an ordering error. However, other supermarket chains say they’re working directly with potato chip suppliers to avoid any potential shortfalls, and are aware that supplies might be limited for the foreseeable future.

New Zealand’s potato farming crisis extends far beyond the snack bars at rugby matches and vending machines. Last year’s potato crops either rotted or remained un-harvested, and the ground is still too wet to plant new ones. This hurts New Zealand’s economy: The nation is the world’s ninth-largest exporter of potatoes.

Plus, potatoes “are a food staple, and this is becoming a food security issue as the effects of climate change take their toll on our potato crop,” says Chris Claridge, the chief executive of industry group Potatoes New Zealand, according to The Guardian.

In the meantime, New Zealanders are preparing to hunker down for a few long months of potential potato peril—and according to some social media users, kale chips are not a suitable alternative. “Chipocalypse” indeed.

[h/t BBC News]

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